In 2020 during the height of the pandemic, Christa was working 12-hour days at a high-stress job. She also was covering weekends and wearing three different hats in her role. She was holding herself to impossible standards, and her life outside of work had all but disappeared.

Overwhelmed and consumed by stress, Christa knew she had to make a drastic change. “The job was grinding me to the ground,” she says.

In a leap of faith, she decided to take a different job halfway across the country. Once there, however, she realized that more needed to change than just her job. 

“I was thrilled about the move, but when I got there, it was like a dam broke,” she says. “I completely crashed. I didn’t realize how much needed to be replaced now to take care of myself.”

At first, she just took it day by day. 

“I reached out to the resources I had available for support. Reaching out—being vulnerable and getting the support I needed was the best thing I could have done for myself. My new company also offered meQ, so I enrolled. Just having those moments with meQ and knowing I could tap into it at any time was sometimes enough to help me settle in the moment and know that I can do it for the day.”

The other missing pieces began to come together.

“Once I took that first step, the rest started falling back into place. I started to re-engage with the people and causes that I care about. But I needed to start with that mindset shift to one of growth—I think we all do. Once we reset the path, the lights do eventually come on, and it does get better.”

Her approach to problem-solving has changed.

“As an administrator, my job is to fix things and ensure that they are running correctly. But when I learned through the meQuilibrium assessment that empathy was one of my lowest scoring factors, I started to reexamine the ways that I problem-solve. I’ve learned that on a personal level it is important to first step back and listen before jumping into ‘fix-it’ mode. I used to start conversations with how I saw things. Now I try to listen first and reflect back what I hear. This has helped me follow through and communicate when I feel misunderstood and set boundaries if the conversation isn’t going anywhere. Stepping back is a huge piece that has relieved a lot of pressure for me. I know now that I don’t have to fix it all. I just have to support the solution.”

Her practices have become habits.

“I usually start my day with a meditation and then read a Cup of Calm blog post. Sometimes if things get hectic during the day, I’ll read a Cup of Calm post at lunchtime to reset and shift my focus. Attending the Calm-Cast webinars and doing the skills in the program have also helped reinforce and deepen my learnings. I’m now able to catch frustration in the moment instead of letting it boil over. When I feel it rising, I go outside to shake things off or grab a cup of tea and let those thoughts fade away. I’m at a point now where all of this is ingrained and is a part of me. I don’t always name it; it’s just something I do.”

She’s more self-compassionate. 

“Instead of getting upset that I don’t know everything right away, I’m able to take things one step at a time, take those small victories, and celebrate how far I’ve come. As I start to adjust, more things make sense, and I’m starting to find my way. I’ve realized that it’s okay to mess up once in a while. I’m human. I have that support now from my colleagues, and I have that support from myself.”

She’ll continue to grow.

“I’m very grateful that these pieces came into place and that I was able to listen to them. It took a while for them to sink in. But once they did, and I started implementing them, it was an amazing experience to continue to grow with it. I’m not who I was when I left that job two years ago. Where I’m at now is just beyond anything I could have expected. I can tell you the reasons why I moved initially, but it’s turned out to be so much more gifting. I’m on firm ground now and can keep building.”